“Texas on the Brink”

Even before the current revenue shortfall became the latest excuse, shortchanging vital public services in Texas has become a bad habit at the state capitol. For proof, look no further than the latest edition of “Texas on the Brink,” a compilation of interstate rankings by the Legislative Study Group in the Texas House.

The report shows that the Lone Star State, despite its considerable wealth, provides poorly for the needs of its residents, with predictable results. Here’s a look at where we stand on a sampling of critical indicators:

–Worst in the nation in the percentage of people 25 and older with a high-school diploma.
–44th in state and local expenditures per pupil in public schools.
–47th in state aid per pupil.
–Worst in the nation in the percentage of its population without health insurance.
–50th in workers’ compensation for on-the-job injuries.
–50th in per-capita spending on mental health.
–49th in average credit score.
–44th in home-ownership rate.
–46th in homeowners’ insurance affordability.
–42d in percentage of households with Internet access.

Looking at it another way, we rank high in a bunch of categories where you want to rank low. For example, Texas is:

–4th in the percentage of children living in poverty.
–2d in the percentage of population with food insecurity.
–1st in the amount of toxic chemicals released into water.
–1st in the amount of hazardous waste generated.

We emphatically agree with the bottom line of “Texas on the Brink”:  Texas can do better.

You can see the full details for yourself by going to this Web site: http://texaslsg.org/texasonthebrink/.